Paced by Prayer

PacedbyPrayer2

Today’s “Difference Maker” challenge from Make a Difference is simple: “At least twice today, set aside several minutes to pray.”

Even though I wrote this, I still struggled this morning to set aside and protect even 300 seconds to pray. My mind was riddled with distractions. But I know I need to heed my own advice:

“A busy life is often a stressed life. A life paced around prayer, however, is often filled with thankfulness and peace.”

With the aid of some coffee and a quite chair, the way my brain was eventually able to focus this morning was by opening the Bible. Jesus often withdrew from demands and people so that he could be alone to pray. So I started reading in Luke 4… when Jesus is starting his public ministry… and where I knew it wouldn’t be long before he would put his activities below the priority of prayer. He was speaking to crowds, casting out evil spirits, healing the sick, saving lives. Good, busy, hectic, productive… Ah… and there it was… Luke 4:42:

“Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place.”

Jesus was committed to defining his life through a relationship with God the Father. This was his pacing. Everything else stemmed from or waited for his life of prayer.

We are often tempted to think that we don’t have time for prayer. But prayer as the basis of our daily life forms the patterns by which we practice our daily life. The more we pace our lives with prayer, the more we (and God) pace our schedules and the less our busy schedules pace us.

Make a Difference releases today. It’s a big day! On all cylinders my brain is firing. With joy and anticipation my heart is full. I truly want this devotional book to become an important, empowering daily resource for thousands of people. Yet, to what worth are my hectic synaptic thoughts unless they are filtered first through a focus on Jesus? To what end are my butterflied worries unless they are devoted to the presence of my Savior?

I pray, truly pray, for this day to be paced by prayer. Let my thoughts be devoted to the thoughts of Jesus. Let my heart be devoted to the heart of Jesus. And let the hectic schedules be de-prioritized.

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” [Col 4:2]

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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